'I don't care if Uber leaves Quebec,' says Montreal mayor

Last week Uber Quebec warned new government rules may force its departure from this province. Now the Uber Quebec head is holding a news conference where he's expected to confirm that departure

Uber's Quebec general manager Jean-Nicolas Guillemette said Tuesday it considers those proposed changes major and added if Quebec doesn't revert to the terms of the original pilot project, it'll shut down the service as of October 14.

Guillemette told a Montreal news conference that the majority of Uber drivers are part-time and often test out the service for a few hours to see if it works for them.

Ride-hailing company Uber says it will cease operating in Quebec next month if the province doesn't rescind new rules introduced last week.

On Friday, Transportation Minister Laurent Lessard said he would extend the pilot project under which Uber had been operating for the past 12 months, contingent on the company being subject to the same rules as traditional taxis regarding training and background checks.

Quebec Uber boss Jean-Nicolas Guillemette, who heads up Uber's Quebec arm, complained that the province didn't consult with the company before raising the number of training hours and called it a "deal breaker" while noting that none of Canada's other cities in which Uber operates had training requirements rules.

Uber has about 50 employees in the Quebec province and 10,000 drivers have worked for the company there under the pilot program.

"I am firm in my intention", Lessard said.

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The move affects Quebec cities including Montreal, the country's second-largest city, and Quebec City.

"Frankly, we need to have some regulations, and if they are threatening to leave, I don't care", said Denis Coderre, speaking to BNN Tuesday morning.

Quebec's decision is the latest public rebuke against the San Francisco-based company, which has faced a series of scandals over the past year involving its corporate culture and respect for local laws.

"This is the beauty of the Uber platform _ it's the flexibility that the driver-partners have to come and go and decide when they want to drive", Guillemette said.

Uber, the online ride-hailing service that has been at the centre of a controversy for the past two years that saw its attempts to establish itself here raise the ire the Quebec taxi industry and the concerns of the Couillard government, is on the verge of leaving Quebec, La Presse reported Tuesday.

Under the terms of the original pilot project, Uber drivers were only forced to take 20 hours of training.

Last week in Britain, authorities in London said Uber's license would not be renewed when it expires September 30, citing a lack of corporate responsibility.

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